Second annual Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon celebrates “Looking Back, Stepping Forward” Nov. 10

Ouachita Baptist University will host its second annual Stepping Up for Ouachita luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, in the Walker Conference Center on Ouachita’s campus. Celebrating the theme “Looking Back, Stepping Forward” and honoring Margaret Wright, Ouachita alumna and professor emerita of accounting, the event will benefit women’s scholarships at Ouachita.

“We wanted to tie into Ouachita’s 125th anniversary and bring this signature women’s event to campus,” said Keisha Pittman, OBU development officer and coordinator of the event. “It was important for us to look at honoring the legacy of the many Ouachita women who have gone before us.”

Wright, a faculty member at Ouachita for more than three decades, served as chair of the Department of Accounting, chair of the Division of Business and Economics and director of corporate and foundation programs and was instrumental in helping establish the Frank D. Hickingbotham School of Business. She and her husband, Charles Wright, former dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts, moved to Little Rock upon their retirement in 2004.

“Margaret influenced a generation of business students,” Pittman said. “Our event will honor her life and commitment to Ouachita.”

Prior to the luncheon, a ticket-only men’s reception sponsored by Dr. Paul and Cheryl Williams will be held to provide men the opportunity to honor Mrs. Wright. A gallery reception showcasing student art will also be held before the luncheon in the lobby of Walker Conference Center.

“Since the luncheon will be primarily women, this gives some of the men that Mrs. Wright has influenced a chance to interact with her and say thank you,” Pittman said.

During the luncheon, Little Rock philanthropist Grace Steuri will share items from her vintage women’s clothing collection in a FASHIONating History Vintage Style Show. Steuri, a Dallas native, has collected fashions covering the full range of the 20th century. Her style shows not only examine the clothing and accessories from the past but also the historical context from which they evolved, a fitting subject as Ouachita reflects on 125 years of educating young people.

“The luncheon is designed around the vintage style show and honoring Mrs. Wright, all the while telling the Ouachita story to our university guests,” Pittman said.  “Events like this are always a great way for students to interact with donors and alumni who make so much of their Ouachita experience a possibility.”

In addition to Pittman, a committee of Ouachita alumni, parents and friends as well as a host of private and corporate sponsors donated their time, talents and financial support to make Stepping Up for Ouachita come to fruition.

“We are grateful to Southern Bancorp for their partnership as the presenting sponsor of this event,” Pittman said, adding that the committee members “love Ouachita, and they love this opportunity to get Ouachita women together and be reminded of this great place—a place where women have always been encouraged to make a difference.”

Terri King, a Ouachita alumna and parent of a current Ouachita student, serves as chairperson for the advisory committee. For a full list of sponsors and committee members, visit www.obu.edu/steppingup. For additional information, contact Keisha Pittman at pittmank@obu.edu or 870-245-4278.

By Breanne Goodrum

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